#IdleNoMore has been pretty strong in the Northwest Territories.

I’ve heard several people say that that they think the January 21st demonstration and round dance in downtown Yellowknife (see the Facebook event page, video & photos here) was the largest demonstration in the NWT since the days of the Berger Commission on the MacKenzie pipeline back in the 1970s.

In Yellowknife, since the 21st there been almost daily lines of honking flag and banner decorated #IdleNoMore cars and pickup trucks crossing the city at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.

Last Thursday, one of #IdleNoMore NWT’s organizers, Lawrence Nayally, posted this  callout, “… Dehcho Bridge to be closed off – Saturday, January 5th – Fort. Providence – Peaceful protest – Bring warm clothing – Bring your drums both men and women – Hot tea, coffee, Stew and bannock to be served afterwards at community hall – Speakers will speak on Idle No More, What it means, what it is and where its heading for Denendeh…etc. …”

CBC North’s Hilary Bird  was at Saturday’s Deh Cho demo and Tweeted “…Approximately 150 protesters came out for the Idle No More Blockade…”
 with this photo of the drum circle.

Bea Lepin of Hay River, Northwest Territories, was there and says  she was…

“….feeling affirmed after my trip to the Deh Cho Bridge IDLE NO MORE. Was spiritually uplifting to see people come together for a common cause.

I saw some postings about IDLE NO MORE on Facebook that kind of disturbed me. Someone saying that Chief Spence was not a good role model for us to have, due to corruption allegations. IDLE NO MORE has many role models not just one, the Deh Cho elders, children, youth and ordinary people aboriginal and non-aboriginal, who came together yesterday to express their concerns and solidarity with the people of Canada on many issues that affect all Canadians, ARE MY ROLE MODELS.

Corruption knows no race, class or status. It abounds within the halls of power, politics and business. How many people cheat on their income taxes, run stop signs, turn a blind eye to the poor and downtrodden in this country, and ignore injustice. That is pure corruption at its best.

Don’t point fingers at me for expressing my outrage to the Harper government.

In your rosy safe world, you live the good life, but over a million and half aboriginal people in this country do not.

Don’t try to stifle me with your half truths and your disdain.

Think what would the Jesus that you profess to serve would do?

He would be there with us at the blockades and at the rallies, not sitting with you in your glass houses, drinking the wine of corruption.

Remember the Levites and the Pharisees?

Creator, I ask you to open the eyes of the blind and cleanse their hearts, mine too please. Mahsi….”

Bea goes on to say…

“..It was good to see MLA Michael Nadli drumming yesterday and MLA Robert Hawkins out supporting the IDLE NO MORE Deh Cho bridge. Real commitment and understanding of these issues shown by the two men.

Now I wonder did the Conservative government consult the Legislative Assembly before choosing to delist all of the lakes and rivers in the NWT from environmental protection except for two lakes and the Deh Cho? How does this fit in with our NWT Water Strategy – why would we need all of the Water secretariat now in the GNWT if those water bodies are no longer protected. What does the GNWT plan to do about this situation?…”

Bea took some photos at the bridge during the demo… Here are a few of them… (all photos ©2013 Bea Lepin, Hay River)

Below is a video called “Idle No More Denendeh – Dehcho Bridge Action”  Short Doc by Siku Allooloo and Amos Scott of Didi Chia Studios.


George Lessard

George Lessard

George has worked in Northern media and the education sector while living in Salluit, Nunavik (Arctic Quebec), Arviat, (Nunavut); Inuvik, Forth Smith and Yellowknife (Northwest Territories) since 1982...